KERIAN: Do not wait for disaster to happen, and consider water rationing now in areas supplied by the depleting Gunung Semanggol and Jalan Baru water treatment plants, the National Water Services Commission (Span) is urging the Perak government.
SPAN commissioner Prof Datuk Dr N. Marimuthu, who visited the Gunung Semanggol plant yesterday, said if rationing was done, it would extend available water at the Bukit Merah dam.
He added that it also reduced the risk of the dam drying up, which could gravely impact consumers.
“If we have to do water rationing, we have to do it. Based on the Meteorological Department's prediction, this phenomenon could go on till September,” he said.
However, the state government is maintaining its stand not to start water rationing in those areas.
Perak Water Committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said the trend in the past one week showed there were some showers in Bukit Merah, which led to an increase in the water level at the Bukit Marah dam.
On Monday, the level was at 6.06m but this has now increased to 6.21m.
“I have already said, if the water level drops to 17 feet (5.18m), we will have to do water rationing,” he said.
The Bukit Merah Dam has around 6m of water at its deepest point and only 14% of water remains despite the catchment area of 480sq km.
According to SPAN, the dam can last for only 30 days without water rationing.